Serhat TUNAR -TDO- Danske Bank will pull out of Russia and the neighboring Baltic states, the Danish lender said after Estonia ordered it to close the branch at the center of one of the largest-ever money laundering scandals, according to the Reuters.
Danske is under investigation in Denmark, Estonia, Britain and the United States over some 200 billion euros ($226 billion) in payments from Russia, ex-Soviet states and elsewhere that was found to have flowed through its Estonian arm.
On Tuesday, Estonia’s financial regulator took the unexpected step of demanding Danske close its local branch and repay customers’ deposits within eight months, overturning the lender’s plan to scale back but keep business in the country.
Danske said last year it hoped to serve subsidiaries of Nordic customers in the Baltics. It made about-turn minutes after the announcement from Estonia’s regulator, publishing a statement to say it would close down its business in Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Estonia.